Dan Rather: Bush "Got Nastier"; Gore's Forgiven Fumbles; Stars Came Out for Hillary, One Wants to Pay Higher Taxes
-- Extra Edition
1) Dan Rather complained "the
campaign climate got nastier today with new Bush attacks." CBS's Bill
Whitaker claimed Bush employed "some of his harshest language yet."
ABC and CBS relayed Gore's citing of a new report critical of Bush's
Social Security plan, but pointed the report also took on Gore's plan. None,
however, cast any doubt on Gore's global warming claims.
2) FNC's Brit Hume recounted some numerical fumbles Al Gore
has made over the past few days, the kind journalists would have jumped on if
committed by George Bush.
3) At a Hillary birthday fundraiser Tom Cruise called Bill
Clinton "one of the greatest leaders of the United States." Jerry
Seinfeld expressed bafflement that anyone would not vote for Gore and Ben
Affleck proclaimed his desire to pay more taxes.
4) Can you name the "Quad Cities"? FNC's Jim Angle
passed Brit Hume's pop quiz.
campaign climate got nastier today with new Bush attacks on Gore's
attacks," Dan Rather castigated on Thursday's CBS Evening News. All
three networks highlighted Bush's criticism of Gore, but ABC's Peter
Jennings characterized it only as Bush "questioning once again Mr.
Gore's fitness to govern." NBC's Tom Brokaw referred to Bush's
"more pointed commentary on the Vice President."
All three evening shows picked the same Bush
soundbite to play, what CBS's Bill Whitaker described as "some of
his harshest language yet." The offending Bush quote: "My
opponent's campaign is a fitting close to the Clinton-Gore years.
They're going out as they came in. Their guide: The nightly polls. Their
goal: The morning headlines. Their legacy: The fruitless search for a
ABC and CBS highlighted how Gore raised a new study
from the American Academy of Actuaries critical of Bush's Social
Security plan, but both pointed out how the group also took on the
soundness of Gore's plan. It's no wonder Gore made a big issue of the
study when early media reports portrayed it as critical only of Bush's
plan. "Actuaries Fault Bush Plan" announced a misleading
headline over a one-sided October 26 Washington Post story. The subhead:
"Group to Say Federal Deficits Would Resume in 2015."
To appeal to potential Nader voters, Gore raised the
Bush threat to the environment and all the networks showed Gore's global
warming warnings, but none pointed out how many scientists do not believe
the new report cited by Gore on the campaign trail. CBS's John Roberts
stressed pressure from the left on Gore: "Despite the support of
major environmental groups, Gore still faces protests from the grassroots,
who argue his record is all about packaging not action."
The campaign led the October 26 ABC, CBS and NBC
-- ABC's World News Tonight went first to Terry
Moran with Al Gore in Madison, Wisconsin: "Well, Peter, today was a
day to go with the flow, and all the carefully plodded messages were
tossed out, and the Vice President seized on two breaking news stories to
assault Governor Bush on two fronts -- fiscal discipline and global
warming. At a rally in Davenport, Iowa, along the Mississippi River, the
Vice President pointed to the latest United Nations study of global
warming and painted a dire picture of environmental disaster if the Texas
Governor is elected."
"Unless we act, the average temperature is gonna go up ten or eleven
degrees. The storms'll get stronger, the weather patterns'll
blasted what he says is Bush's lackadaisical attitude on the
Gore: "He says
on global warming he's not sure that what the cause is and maybe we
shouldn't do anything except just study it."
Vice President's plan calls for big tax credits to encourage cleaner
fuel consumption while Governor Bush is supporting more research into the
causes of global warming. The Gore campaign was also positively gleeful
about another new report from the American Academy of Actuaries, a
nonpartisan group of researchers which said Bush's plans will eat up the
surplus faster than Gore's."
"They've confirmed what I've been saying, that his numbers
don't even come close to adding up, and they said that he way overspends
and spends more than what I have proposed by a long shot."
Moran then pointed
out what the Washington Post ignored: "But Gore did not mention that
the actuary study showed that both candidates are failing to address
budgetary issues fully."
Noel Card, American
Academy of Actuaries: "The candidates' proposals were incomplete,
potentially misleading, and leave many questions unanswered."
Moran concluded, as
transcribed by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth: "Well this enormous crowd
is not gonna hear that part of the actuaries' assessment, but tonight
the Gore campaign is producing an ad that trumpets the actuaries' harsh
take on the Bush plan but doesn't say anything about their criticism of
the Gore proposals."
Dean Reynolds in Erie with Bush: "Mr. Bush was today in
Pennsylvania questioning once again Mr. Gore's fitness to
explained: "Peter, the Governor was mincing no words today in
this battleground state. Facing repeated Democratic attacks on his
competence, Bush responded today that Al Gore lacks the strength of
character to lead. When you govern by focus groups, he said of Gore,
you can't confront the real problems....Bush suggested Gore has
struck a negative tone in the campaign."
George W. Bush:
"He talked about ripping the lungs out of political adversaries.
Part of his campaign headquarters is called, incredibly enough, the
Reynolds played the same clip of Bush as did CBS
going out as they came in. their guide: The nightly polls. Their goal:
The morning headlines. Their legacy: The fruitless search for a
Reynolds picked up: "Though aides denied
Bush was adding some high octane to his oratory, his tone today was
unquestionably tougher than usual, and he once again dangled before
the crowd the possibility of Colin Powell as a cabinet secretary, one
of the able leaders with whom Bush said he would try to surround
himself as President. Having the popular former general on stage was
another sign of how Bush is leaving nothing to chance in a race so
tight so late and so see-sawed..."
Next, Aaron Brown looked at ads produced by
independent groups. He cited and showed brief clips of NARAL's anti-Nader
ad as well as the ads made by the NRA and Handgun Control Inc. He
skipped the NAACP ad linking Bush to murder which was detailed in the
October 26 CyberAlert Extra, but he did find time to denounce an
anti-Gore ad from a group called Americans Against Hate. Immediately
after clips of the ads from the two gun groups, Brown intoned:
"Harsher still, this ad tying Gore to controversial black
activist Al Sharpton, who the ad says praised Adolph Hitler."
-- CBS Evening News. Anchor Dan Rather announced
at the top of the show: "Good evening. The closing days of the
close race for the American presidency heated up today over global
warming, Social Security and character questions. Both Vice President
Al Gore and Texas Governor George Bush were caught short by an
independent assessment of their Social Security reform plans. Gore was
quick to zero in on new predictions about global warming, an
environmental protection issue he thinks can help him against both
Bush and Green Party candidate Ralph Nader in closely contested
From Wisconsin, John Roberts reported
Gore's attack on Bush's environmental stands: "Armed with new
data that shows pollution accelerating the pace of global warming, Al
Gore laid into George Bush today for presiding over the smog capital
Gore: "Houston's just solidified its
title as the smoggiest city."
Roberts proceeded to explain how Gore was also
aiming his message at potential spoiler Ralph Nader. CBS showed a clip
of the NARAL ad warning that voting for Nader will help elect the
anti-choice Bush. Roberts then played a soundbite from Nader: "Al
Gore is suffering from election year delusion if he thinks his record
on the environment is anything to be proud of."
pressure on Gore from the left: "Despite the support of major
environmental groups, Gore still faces protests from the grassroots,
who argue his record is all about packaging not action."
Greenpeace: "Well the promises are great, the rhetoric is great,
keeping the promises, doing what you say, that's our concern."
Setting up CBS's story on Bush's day, Rather
scolded Bush's language: "The campaign climate got nastier
today with new Bush attacks on Gore's attacks. This coincided with a
dustup over who has the better plan to protect Social Security. An
independent study out today says it finds fault with both of
Bill Whitaker began: "In some of his
harshest language yet, George W. Bush blasted Al Gore as what's
wrong with American politics, not the solution."
"My opponent's campaign is a fitting close to the Clinton-Gore
years. They're going out as they came in. Their guide: The nightly
polls. Their goal: The morning headlines. Their legacy: The fruitless
search for a legacy."
"But even as they sharpened their attacks both candidates were
forced to defend their vigorously contested Social Security plans from
a critical report which found both plans deficient."
Whitaker ran a
soundbite from Ron Gebhardtsbauer of the American Academy of Actuaries
who asserted both plans have major shortcomings. Whitaker went on to
outline the long term Social Security problem and briefly summarize
the solutions offered by Gore and Bush.
Now try saying "Ron Gebhardtsbauer"
five times fast.
-- NBC Nightly News. Tom Brokaw opened the
broadcast: "Well tonight there's not a national poll in the
race between Vice President Al Gore and Governor George W. Bush that
shows a clear advantage for one or the other with just two weekends to
go." Brokaw relayed how the
latest MSNBC/Reuters tracking poll remained steady for a second day
with Gore up 45 to 43 percent over Bush.
Claire Shipman in Madison, Wisconsin found:
"It was the greening of Al Gore today." Noting his concern
about Nader, she observed that he seized on a global warming to show
his concern for the environment. She reported that Nader could really
cost Gore in Oregon where Bush is at 45 percent, Gore at 41 percent
and Nader has 10 percent as well as in Minnesota where a new poll put
Bush at 44 percent over Gore at 41 percent with Nader pulling in 8
Shipman used the preferred liberal language in
adding: "And pro-choice organizations are spending big money for
ads like these, to make the case that a vote for Nader could mean the
end of a woman's right to choose."
NARAL ad clip:
"Before voting Nader, consider the risk. It's your
Brokaw introduced NBC's second story: "As
for Governor Bush, he had some high-powered help today on the campaign
trail and a more pointed commentary on the Vice President."
From Pittsburgh, David Gregory explained:
"Making it abundantly clear that the Clinton-Gore scandals of the
past eight years will be a major theme in the closing days of this
campaign, today Governor Bush does attack Vice President Gore, says
he's been a failure and Bush promises that if he's elected
Americans will once again be able to respect their government."
Gregory played the same Bush soundbite as did
ABC and CBS: "They're going out as they came in. Their guide:
The nightly polls. Their goal: The morning headlines. Their legacy:
The fruitless search for a legacy."
Gore has made some numerical fumbles over the past few days, the kind
journalists would have jumped on if committed by George Bush, but only
FNC's Brit Hume recounted Gore's goofs.
On Special Report with Brit Hume on Thursday
night, October 26, Hume relayed:
Tennessee Wednesday, Gore said Bush would take a trillion dollars out
of the Social Security trust fund. A trillion, he added, is a quote,
'million billion.' A trillion, of course, is a thousand million.
In a taped message to be aired over the Fox broadcast network Friday
evening, Gore said his Social Security Plus program would reward
people who save $1,500 with $500,000. Presumably, he meant $500. And
attacking Bush on his health insurance record in Texas, Gore said
quote, '1.4 children in Texas have no health insurance.' He
apparently meant 1.4 million. The Gore campaign, however, declined to
issue a correction."
MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth informed me that Hume
actually got a calculation wrong in his correction as a trillion is
really a thousand billion, not "a thousand million." I have
no idea myself and have credited this correction to someone else so I
can maintain plausible deniability.
stars came out for Hillary and Bill at a Wednesday night $2 million
fundraiser in New York City for Hillary's Senate campaign pegged to
her birthday the next day. "The First Lady got a birthday
surprise," AP's Sonya Ross relayed as "comedian Chevy
Chase and actor Tom Cruise flew in especially to greet her. 'I just
think you're going to be a wonderful Senator from this state,'
Cruise told her." Sue Pleming of Reuters quoted Cruise as
introducing Bill Clinton as "one of the greatest leaders of the United States."
(This is the same event from which you may have
seen the often run on the cable networks Thursday clip of Bill Clinton
and Robert DeNiro trading pronunciations of the phrase "For-geda-bout
Prompted by the event, Paramount's syndicated
Entertainment Tonight on Thursday night collected celebrity comments
about the presidential campaign. Jerry Seinfeld expressed bafflement
that anyone would not vote for Gore and Ben Affleck proclaimed his
desire to pay more taxes.
First, some more about the Hillary fundraising
party as reported by the AP's Ross: "The Clintons were treated
to The Show, a production of music and comedy skits directed by James
Naughton and featuring Cher, soul singer Al Green, Ben Affleck,
Cameron Diaz, Jon Stewart, Nathan Lane, Chris Parnell, Denis Leary,
Molly Shannon, Edward Norton and Will Ferrell. They were also the
guests of honor at a party afterward....
Darrell Hammond portrayed Clinton at an interview for a New York
co-op, listing his pets as a cat, a dog and 'one snake,' former
adviser Dick Morris."
Back to the October 26 Entertainment Tonight, an
exasperated actor/comedian Jerry Seinfeld told ET in a setting which
looked like he was standing in a crowd outside the Hillary event:
"I don't understand why this election is close. I don't know
anybody that wants to go back to the way things were eight years ago
-- unless you're under eight-years-old and you don't remember what
things were like in 1992."
ET anchor Mary Hart then preposterously
asserted: "Celebrities themselves seem to be split right down the
middle" between favoring Gore or Bush.
For those backing Gore she listed: Barbra
Streisand, Michael Douglas, Martin Sheen and Kevin Spacey. Hart put
these celebrities in the Bush camp: Bruce Willis, Rick Schroeder, Bo
Derek, Travis Tritt and Reba McEntyre.
Hart returned to some celebrity soundbites and
showed actor Morgan Freeman proclaiming: "I'm basically a Gore
man. You know I think the present administration, politically, has
done us no harm at all."
Kristin Davis, currently one of the four women
on HBO's Sex and the City, revealed concern that Gore might not win:
"My presidential choice is Al Gore. I feel very strongly about
it. I'm feeling a little nervous about the election."
Actor Ben Affleck affirmed he thinks he should
be punished for his success and wouldn't mind forgoing a tax cut. At
the Hillary event he told an ET camera: "I went from not having a
lot of money to having some and I think it's fair. I should pay a
higher percentage in taxes. I've been very lucky, this country's
been very good to me."
If Bush wins, he should impose a "windfall
earnings" tax on f movie stars.
what are the other three cities in the "Quad City" metroplex
which includes Davenport, Iowa? FNC's Brit Hume popped that question
Thursday night to reporter Jim Angle who was in Davenport to cover a
Gore appearance. Angle successfully met Hume's challenge,
responding: "Moline, Rock Island and Bettendorf."
But of those three, only Bettendorf is in Iowa.
The other two cities are in Illinois, which explains Gore's
selection of the Davenport media market since it enabled him to hit
voters in two states at once. -- Brent Baker
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